You’ve probably heard of the diamond push up variation. And, if you’ve wondered about the diamond push ups benefits, how to do the exercise well, and more, then you’re in luck.
The following outlines everything you need to know about diamond push ups, and how to get started with them.
What Are Diamond Push Ups?
Diamond push ups, also known as tricep push ups, are a variation of this classic bodyweight exercise. Instead of having your hands far apart, you keep them next to one another (or very close) as you press your body up. You position your hands in the shape of a diamond on the floor when doing this push up, hence the name diamond push ups.
Due to the biomechanics, this push up variation is among the most challenging ones. Unlike the classic push up where your chest (pecs) is the primary muscle group that works, your triceps do the bulk of the work here.
Diamond push ups are one of the best tricep exercises to engage and work the lateral head (outside head) of the three-headed tricep muscle.
Performing Diamond Push Ups
Setting up to perform diamond push ups is simple, but performing them is harder. Diamond push ups are also called tricep push ups, and that name is of often used interchangeably.
Red = primary muscle engaged
The image below is what they look like when performed correctly, and also the muscles they engage.
The Diamond Shape With Your Hands…Is It Critical?
First, to be clear, forming a diamond shape with your hands is not the critical component of this exercise. The key is to have your hands closer together than a classic pushup. There are variations of how close, but the key is to get them closer to engage the lateral head of the tricep more directly.
Diamond Push Ups Benefits – Why You Need This Exercise
If you’re looking for a good bodyweight movement to train and work your triceps, then diamond push ups are it. This is a unique movement because it does a great job of developing the lateral (outermost) tricep head. Doing them contributes to the horseshoe tricep look many trainees aspire for.
The diamond push up is a fantastic exercise for building the overall size and strength of your triceps.
Other diamond push ups benefits also include the fact that this movement still trains the chest and shoulders to a significant degree. Plus, unlike many tricep exercises, diamond push ups don’t require any special equipment, and you can do them anywhere at any time.
Here are some of the great benefits of diamond pushups:
- A great exercise to work your triceps in general.
- One of the best tricep exercises to target the lateral (outside) tricep head.
- Great for building lean muscle and hardness in the tricep.
- They provide an effective workout for three upper body muscle groups: triceps, pecs, and deltoids. (Pecs = chest; Deltoids = shoulders)
- They are a great bodyweight exercise, so they don’t require equipment, dumbbells, or anything else.
- They are a great home workout routine, and should definitely be a part of any home workouts to build lean muscle.
Essential Considerations For Diamond Push Ups
While fantastic, the diamond push ups are only beneficial when done right.
Here is what you should keep in mind for this exercise:
1. Warm-Up Very Well
Warming up before training is one of the most important, yet ironically, most overlooked things we should do. A good warm-up primes the body and mind for the workout, boosts our performance, and helps us stay away from injuries and aches.
As far as diamond push ups are involved, warming up well is even more important. You see, due to the arm angle in this push up variation, you can experience some strain on your elbows and wrists. The motion itself is a bit of an awkward movement. By spending extra time to warm-up these areas (wrists and elbows), you can save yourself a lot of trouble.
So rotate your elbows and your wrists for several minutes to ensure they are fully warmed up and ready.
2. Practice Makes Perfect
The diamond push ups benefits are numerous. But, it takes time to master the exercise and reap its benefits. The first time you do diamond push ups, you might find it awkward and difficult. But, with persistence, you can perfect them.
For example, if you find them impossible to do at first, you can do a modified version and support yourself on your knees instead of your toes. That way, you can remove some of the resistance until you gain enough strength to do the classic version.
3. How to Use Them Effectively
The great thing about diamond push ups is that you can use them as an addition to a complete push up workout. And there is a reason that Harvard Health Publishing considers push-ups a top bodyweight exercise. (1)
You can begin your training with this more challenging variation, and then slowly move to less challenging push ups as you become more fatigued.
For example (in order from most difficult, to least difficult):
- Diamond push ups – 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps
- Classic push us – 3 sets of 10 to 25 reps
- Incline push ups (e.g., on a bench or low table) – 3 sets of 15 to 30 reps
A Great Tricep Exercise, But Not an Easy Movement
The diamond push up benefits are many, but this exercise takes some practice and a base level of strength to perform them effectively. It might require some practice to perform them as shown above. So ease into them cautiously, and do them on a weekly basis (some variation), and you’ll continue to get better and better.
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- Solan, M. (2019, February 18). The rise of push-ups: A classic exercise that can help you get stronger. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/rise-push-ups-classic-exercise-can-motivate-get-stronger-2019021810165